November 2 - December 23, 2017
Opening: November 2, 6-8PM
Casey Kaplan is pleased to announce a presentation of new paintings by Garth Weiser, marking his seventh exhibition with the gallery.
Weiser’s large-scale compositions resume an ongoing concern for spatial abstraction and perspectival deviations. His canvases are meticulously crafted and built through a unique process of taping, spraying, cutting, and scraping. Intricate layers of crisscrossing paint emerge in an evocation akin to neural pathways of the brain. Trapped underneath grated layers of enamel, oil and gold leaf, Weiser’s preliminary gestural markings act as physical traces of memories embedded in a matrix of synaptic connections.
Weiser’s new paintings reveal distinct patterns, idioms, logos, and symbols beneath striations of paint. His turbulent under-paintings are achieved through recent material experimentation. Incorporating elements of collage and repurposing cut sections of t-shirts, Weiser is alluding to the ubiquity and inevitable commodification of subcultural ephemera. In one painting, entitled The Walking Dead (2017) a humorous, yet uncanny smiley face, rendered in a post-apocalyptic neon sludge, flickers underneath a thick network of paint. In other works, swathes of tie-dye form a pseudo-countercultural backdrop for passive or even complacent slogans, such as “every little thing is going to be alright” and “l ? DC”. These disparate segments are hybridized into the canvases and then buried by several layers of oil and spray paint. The underlying elements re-emerge only after multiple coatings and excavations. Through this process, the paintings accumulate densely textured surfaces, further obscuring their legibility. Small ruts, recalling the welded markings of excavation-hole covers, fuse with dyed cotton and intersect with larger, burn-like scars. Grooves rise into peaks where the paint coagulates.
The resulting works function as visual riddles with no single solution. The collaged systems appear as though intertwined — vibrating between foreground and background, unclear as to where one ends and another begins. Each composition remains in a constant state of flux, triggering multistable perceptions. In effect, ambiguous sensory information confounds our cognitive ability to process the divergent visual outputs.
Garth Weiser (b. 1979, Helena, MT) lives and works in New York City and Hillsdale, NY. Weiser was recently the subject of a major retrospective at The Contemporary Austin Art Museum in Austin, TX, with an accompanying monograph published on the occasion. Other recent solo exhibitions include: Altman Siegel, San Francisco, (2014); Casey Kaplan, New York, (2013); and White Flag Projects, St. Louis, MO, (2010). His work has additionally been included in numerous group exhibitions, such as: The Campaign for Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA (2016);l Pattern: Follow the Rules, the Eli and Edythe Broad Museum at Michigan State University (2013); Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo (2012); Nothing Beside Remains, curated by Shamim Momin, Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND), Marfa, TX (2011); Seeing is a Kind of Thinking: A Jim Nutt Companion, curated by Julie Rodrigues Widholm, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL (2011); and Big New Field: Artists in the Cowboys Stadium Art Program, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX (2010). Weiser’s work is held in collections of prominent institutions, including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; The Whitworth, University of Manchester, Manchester, England; Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum: Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.